Posted 8 years ago
The projector came with the company we purchased in 2008. We were told that it came out of a guy's basement who, in turn, got it from the capitol building in downtown Denver, Colorado. It uses incadescent light bulbs instead of carbon sticks for the lamphouse, which for 1936, was innovative. It is a sound projector, too. It's not the portable "theater in a suitcase" like what Herman DeVry was known for, but it has the same engineering innovations that make it a useful piece of equipment.
We did a little research on Herman A. DeVry. He was born in Germany and came to the United States when he was 9. He was first introduced to motion picture cameras in 1894 while in Kansas. He worked in a bicycle shop in Denver. Later in Tulsa, he invented an airplane engine, but was still drawn to motion pictures. Through the wars, he had his portable DeVry cameras recording and reporting incidents. Later, he brought that same technology to America's education system where his portable cameras were very popular. DeVry Manufacturing was set up in Chicago where his later film endeavors were born. His first projector manufacturing plant and research laboratory was actually set up in his basement. He and his brother organized the DeVry Summer School of Visual Instruction which later became known as the DeVry Technical Institute. The DeVry's were instrumental in advancing audio visual technology to what we use today.
We are in the motion picture industry. Anything that gives us a peek into the past is important to us. People didn't have TV's and home theaters back then. To learn and watch of war activities throughout the world, they had to go to the movie theater. To give variety to education, projectors had to be invented. Films had to be made. Herman DeVry was one of those leading men to advance those technologies. Our Herman A. DeVry projector may not be THAT original, but it is a unique piece from a past that has catapulted us to where we are today in both education and movie theater entertainment.